|• Religions||Buddhism and Christianity|
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The Kawkareik Pass across the Tenasserim Hills is named after this town. The Pass was the access route from Thailand used by the Japanese Fifteenth Army, consisting of two infantry divisions under Lieutenant General Shōjirō Iida, when it invaded the southern Burmese province of Tenasserim (now Tanintharyi Region) in January 1942.
In January 2009, the forces of the Karen National Union and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army clashed outside Kawkareik. The DKBA set up their military command post inside the town, and although soldiers burned down several civilian houses and detained dozens of citizens in villages across the border in Thailand, Kawkareik was left intact.
- "DKBA soldiers burn down huts, detain villagers and loot property in Thailand". Karen Human Rights Group. January 20, 2009.
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